December’s IWSG – Do I have Writing Goals?

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Many Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and to my friend, Patricia Garcia, for inviting me to join this supportive group.  I also thank this month’s IWSG co-hosts: Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield.

In regards to December’s IWSG question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Sadly, my writing “career,” if that is what you want to call it is haphazard at best.  Initially, I wanted to write a book about my brother’s sad life, but I realized I had too few facts to create a book.  Then after taking writing classes for various aspects of writing I realized that I am happier writing short stories.  I especially loved Erma Bombeck’s style and wanted to follow in her footsteps.  Sad, but true, in attempting to publish my stories, I realized that the stories that magazines now publish are extremely different than in the “old days,” the stories I used to read.  Despite obstacles, I have managed to publish a few short stories though.

I have a thought about producing a book on Caregiving since I have been caregiving for my husband for a year.  Caregiving is NOT what I thought it would be like!  I suspect other people were surprised about how exhausting and maddening caregiving can be… who would know?

Recently, I received a book, DON’T WRITE YOUR BOOK WITHOUT ME, by Viga Boland.  The opening pages have hooked me right in to thinking about writing about my brother’s and my life again.  Viga’s book is a “page turner” for me as her comments are not the standard… she wants me to “Free fall” —starting with random thoughts rather than using a specific outline.  I like her thinking.

So my goal is to inspire my writing again… to actually accomplish more rather than shoving my writing in the garbage can.

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About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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22 Responses to December’s IWSG – Do I have Writing Goals?

  1. Tina Peterson says:

    Great idea!

  2. susan scott says:

    Isn’t that amazing Gwynn re coming across Viga’s book via Gulara? Things happen at the right time it seems 🙂 Go ahead, find your voice and write Gwynn, you have a sure touch.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks Susan for your support. I am enjoying Viga’s book, but I have to read it on my computer. However, it is opening my mind to another way of writing. I just HAVE to do it instead of procrastinating. Also, there are a variety of Caregiving books out there, but I’m not sure they ‘open the can of worms’ so to speak.

      I do wish you lived closer!

  3. I was recently assigned to write an article detailing the options for adult kids whose parents need long-term care. Trust me, there is definitely a need for books that speak to caregivers, especially those with advice and stories coming from personal experience.

    Your instincts are right on the money. You just have to believe in yourself and keep telling yourself you’re on the right path when those nasty doubts whisper in your ear.

    Believing in yourself is always a challenge, but until then and beyond, all of us at IWSG will be cheering you on. Write on, Gwynn!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. As of Christmas Eve it will be a year that I have been caregiving for my husband. He is only improving in miniscule ways, but he never will be 100% again. It is horrific to have the whole load resting on my shoulders.

      Plus, when my mom had her five years of strokes, I know what it is like going from the kid to the parent. The roller coaster was unbelievable and I USED to like roller coasters. Being called out all hours of the night and day is really hard!

      The biggest challenge IS believing in myself as family dynamics can be devastating! Thank you for your encouragement. It is GREATLY appreciated.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thank you so much for your comment and support. I love learning that caregiving experience stories can be valuable. I have now helped with my mom as she had five years of roller coaster type strokes. Plus, I was instantly thrown into becoming parent and my mom the child, as dad had died the year prior. Then when you add in family dynamics as EVERYONE cares, and thinks they know best, then life REALLY becomes a nightmare.

      As for my husband, as of Christmas Eve I have been caregiving for my husband for a year. It is one HECK of a load on my shoulders. Keeping myself sane is the first criteria. When your partner suddenly can’t do anything or much of anything to help makes me feel like I have been run over by a Mac Truck.

      Then you add my childhood family dynamics … so having confidence in myself is going to be a challenge. One that I’m determined to win… step by step.

      Thank you so much for your comments. It is valuable information for me.

  4. pat garcia says:

    My Dear Gwynn,

    I am so delighted that you have come to the realisation that you have to write your brother’s story. I wish you patience and courage to go the distance. That you start writing and don’t stop no mater what. I know you can do this.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I have always felt that I needed to write more about my brother’s life. But I DO have to figure out how to do it. I don’t tend toward writing fiction, but I may have to learn how. Plus, somehow I need to throw my heart into that story. Hopefully, Viga’s book will give me that inspiration that I need, AND dig me out of my hole.

      Your are a wonderful friend. Thanks for your support!

  5. This sounds like a wonderful book! I know it’s a tough time, but we can find sanctuary in our art…congrats on your perseverance.

    A few years ago I heard David Laskin speak about his book, The Family. In his case, he was unable to get exact details about some family members. He used research to fill in the gaps. For example, one branch of the family went to Israel and lived on a kibbutz. He was able to get a sense of what their days might have been like.

    I have taken this to heart since my latest WIP is about my great-great grandmother, about whom I have very little information. She worked in a woollen mill in Scotland, so I have researched working conditions and general life in those times. In my case, I chose to turn it into a novel since I have so few actual facts.

    I hope you will hang in there. I really believe your books want to be written. I also think the caregiving book is a great idea. I believe in you!!!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Nadine, my brother was an out and out Hippie among so many vast other jobs, interests, and beliefs. He was an intellectual. He escaped out of Rev. Moon’s camp over an eight foot barbed-wire fence. He was part of the Baghwan’s community until he realized the Baghwan was a fake. Finally, my brother became a Buddhist monk and travel to India with his Lama and the Dalai Lama. It was during the Gulf War and they hated Americans over there. The Lama hid my brother out in Kathmandu for three months disguised as a Nigerian as they had to dye his hair and skin back, since he was a red head. Ultimately, between being HIV positive and picking up three unknown parasites because of the filth in Kathmandu my brother die five days short of his 42nd birthday. You can read his story “Acceptance” in my family section. It is an older story.

      My brother and I were extreme opposites, but friends as our family life was NOT warm and fuzzy. I went to a Gay Party with him at a barn in Colorado one time. He was a character. He did so much, I truly want to do something positive for him.

      You are such a wonderful support. I do wish you were back here instead of having so much fun in New York. Hey, that reminds me… Port Townsend has about eight inches of snow. See what you are missing! I need people like you in my life to beat on my head to make me think! Thanks for being out there!

  6. Hi? Gwynn, nice to meet you. Caregiving is exhausting, isn’t it, and any of us who have families are caregivers in one way or another, right? Anyway, I’m glad tohear you found new inspiration. It seems a book about your experiences could certainly help someone else, and wouldn’t that be worth it.

    Good luck and remember to never,never, never give up.l

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi, it is lovely meeting you too. Yes, caregiving for a family is exhausting, particularly little kids. But when our parents grow old, they suddenly become the little kids and we become the parents. This is a shock to both parents and kids. However, caregiving for my husband has been really hard on me as I also have structural problems… growing old is NOT for the faint of heart!

      I do appreciate your support. Believing in myself is a challenge that I HAVE to overcome. Viga’s book will be a huge benefit to me as it will help me get rid of my Perfectionist… I HOPE!! Thanks for you comments and friendship!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi, it is lovely meeting you too. Caregiving whether for little children, parents, or husbands is exhausting. Each level of family has its own challenges Dealing with a parent, you go from being the kid to becoming the parent. The parent doesn’t usually like this change in dynamics either. Dealing with my husband has been hard as it has been an enormous weight on my shoulders.

      Thank you for your support and encouragement.

  7. Juneta says:

    I think it sounds like a great book too. Wishing you much inspiring flowing into your writing. Happy Holidays
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thank you so much for Co-hosting this month. My hat comes off to you as hosting must be quite a job!

      I have a lot to learn with my writing still. However, having subjects that are important to me helps. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  8. Ashen says:

    Have you thought about an imagined letter correspondence with your brother as a frame for the book?

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh Ashen, that is a GREAT idea. Obviously, “no” I hadn’t thought about that idea, which is funny as I talk to him in my mind all the time. My brother was intelligent and “off-the-wall” in his thinking. You remember the “hippie” era, well he was a full-blown part of that generation. Did you ever read my story, “Acceptance” in my Family Section? It is one of my older stories. It tells of my brother’s wild life. He has been gone 23 years. I do so miss him. Thanks, for stopping by. Have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas.

  9. You would be the perfect person to write the Caregiver book, Gwynn. I can already see a blog tour in the works. 🙂 And you have the credentials, just looking back at the posts you’ve written. Can easily turn those into a book.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks Silvia for your lovely comment and support. In these “Fun Golden Years,” I’m learning that more and more of my friends are in this exciting role of caregiver. Caregiving is not a “one-size fit all” sort of job… nor is the role of the patient. Life is beyond creative as to what it throws at us. This is one reason why I’m looking forward to reading Susan’s book about Aging and Becoming. Somehow, many of us thought that when we aged, life would become easier, and we could sit back and relax… SURPRISE!! But first I need to get out of pain so I can think clearly with my head on straight! 🙂 Wish me luck! Hugs to you!

  10. I have been trying to write a book for a while now. I was trying to write it by outline, as you mentioned above and I have gotten no where! The other day I wondered if writing bits and pieces would be better and then put them all together. I am thinking this might work better for me. I’ve decided that after the A-to-Z Challenge that I will continue to write my book using the bits and pieces approach. I think you should write about your brother’s life. If there is a story to be told, then tell it! Good luck!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh my brother had an incredible life. Go into my family section and read my story “Acceptance” and that will give you a good view of his life. The problem is that I don’t have enough details. I had thought because I had his journals that it would provide the facts and info I needed, but they didn’t. He was an extreme intellectual and his journals were affirmations and facts about the religion he was participating in at the moment. Sadly, I would have to fictionalize his life… and my imagination couldn’t even come close to accomplishing what he did in real life. I do SO miss him!

      But, like you I had thought about using my A – Z Challenge about Caregiving as I don’t think people realize what a shock caregiving can be. I simply have to be productive, but life keeps throwing bumps in my road. Again, THANK YOU for stopping by. I appreciate your comments.

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